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  Mailing Address:
  Dane County Area Genealogical Society
  PO Box 5652
  Madison, WI 53705-0652

Society e-mail address:

Membership dues for the 2016-17 membership year:
  $23.00/year individual or $28.00/year family ($8.00 discount if you get the newsletter only by e-mail)

This “old” website is being dismantled, piece by piece. If you don’t find the information you are looking for here, please go to the “new” DCAGS website,

  Membership year is 1 April -31 March
  Printable 2014 membership form (111 KB PDF file)
    Or go to our “Work in progress” new website to join or renew online

Society Organizational Documents (PDF files)
  Plan of Merger (July 2006)
  Bylaws (initially adopted August 2006, amended October 2007, 5 April 2012, and 7 November 2013)
  Policy and Procedures Manual (last revised October 2007)

DCAGS logo
Society Newsletters:
  April/May 2016 - DCAGS (321 KB PDF file)
  February/March 2016 - DCAGS (260 KB PDF file)
  January 2016 - DCAGS (358 KB PDF file)
  November/December 2015 - DCAGS (367 KB PDF file)
  September/October 2015 - DCAGS (180 KB PDF file)
  July/August 2015 - DCAGS (105 KB PDF file)
  May/June 2015 - DCAGS (640 KB PDF file)
  March/April 2015 - DCAGS (145 KB PDF file)
  February 2015 - DCAGS (610 KB PDF file)
  January 2015 - DCAGS (754 KB PDF file)
  No DCAGS Newsetter was published in December 2014
  November 2014 - DCAGS (1036 KB PDF file)
  October 2014 - DCAGS (820 KB PDF file)
  September 2014 - DCAGS (822 KB PDF file)
  August 2014 - DCAGS (879 KB PDF file)
  July 2014 - DCAGS (655 KB PDF file)
  June 2014 - DCAGS (820 KB PDF file)
  May 2014 - DCAGS (797 KB PDF file)
  April 2014 - DCAGS (967 KB PDF file)
  March 2014 - DCAGS (947 KB PDF file)
  February 2014 - DCAGS (960 KB PDF file)
  January 2014 - DCAGS (836 KB PDF file)
  December 2013 - DCAGS (2281 KB PDF file)
  November 2013 - DCAGS (333 KB PDF file)
  October 2013 - DCAGS (805 KB PDF file)
  September 2013 - DCAGS (1055 KB PDF file)
  August 2013 - DCAGS (607 KB PDF file)
  July 2013 - DCAGS (563 KB PDF file)
  June 2013 - DCAGS (980 KB PDF file)
  May 2013 - DCAGS (1034 KB PDF file)
  April 2013 - DCAGS (469 KB PDF file)
  March 2013 - DCAGS (1329 KB PDF file)
  February 2013 - DCAGS (1035 KB PDF file)
  January 2013 - DCAGS (971 KB PDF file)

Click here for access to newsletters published prior to 2013.

Note: Many (but not all) of the URLs listed in recent newsletters are “hot links.” If you click on the URL, your browser should go directly to the web page being referenced. (You must be using either Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5 or some version of Adobe Reader for these hotlinks to work.)

The Governing Board consists of the directors, the immediate past president, and the standing committee chairs. Any person who fits in more than one of these categories is not replaced by a substitute, and gets only one vote on the Governing Board. The Governing Board usually meets on the third Monday of each month. Contact the society president or see our monthly newsletter to get the time and location.

Upcoming Programs — 2016

Time: 7:00 PM, first Thursday of every month, unless otherwise noted
Place: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (chapel), 4505 Regent St. (intersection of Regent St.&Segoe Rd.), Madison unless otherwise noted

Meeting Date   Program Description  
1 October 2015  DNA and Genealogy - Our speaker will be Mary Eberle. Learn how to use DNA testing for your family research. Find out which DNA test is best for you, how to understand your DNA results, and how to link your DNA results with traditional genealogy methods.
5 November 2015  Preserving our Ancestors’ Gravestones - Our speaker will be Jarrod Roll. Gravestones are highly valued by genealogists. They mark the graves of loved ones, provide essential genealogical information about the deceased, and often serve as the only visual remnant of an ancestor. But time and the elements wage an ongoing attack on our ancestors’ carved stones, jeopardizing their future survival. While little can be done to undo the damage caused by nature, proper cleaning of a gravestone can slow deterioration and help preserve our ancestors’ grave markers for years to come. Cemetery Preservation Specialist Jarrod Roll will teach the importance of gravestone cleaning and provide step-by-step instructions for how to safely and effectively preserve a grave marker through cleaning.
7 January 2016  Writing and Presenting Your Family History - Our speaker will be Eleanor Brinsko. She will be presenting on the various ways to present your famly history using electronic tools, media, and tangible methods.
4 February 2016  Collections and Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library Archives - Our speaker will be Lori Bessler, Reference Librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Lori will provide the most recent information about the WHS website and collections. This library archives is one of the top five genealogical collections in the United States. If you have wondered why you should do research there, this presentation is a must!
3 March 2016  Discovering the DAR Website: Ancestors, Descendants, and More - Our speakers will be Sherry Lloyd and Ruth Simpson, both of whom have served as Regent of the Governor Nelson Dewey DAR Chapter in the Madison area. This meeting will feature a presentation on genealogy resources available on the Daughters of American Revolution (DAR) website. DAR members must “prove” themselves a direct descendant of an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the U.S.A. The DAR has made available on its website databases for Ancestors, Descendants and Members. Information in the three databases is derived from approved DAR member-related applications. They will show how to search the databases for genealogical information. The DAR makes available copies of approved DAR membership applications for a fee.
7 April 2016  Finding Connection to the Old Country: Looking for a German Connection & Beyond - Our speaker will be Bob Rettammel. Bob will provide a case study of how he searched for his German ancestors, particularly his great-grandfather’s family. Bob will discuss the records used to begin a search in finding a German Connection: vital records – birth, death, and marriage; census records, city directories, newspapers, and naturalization records. He will provide information on the genealogical structure in Germany, the reasons for German emigration, and working with a genealogist.
5 May 2016  Breaking through the Brickwalls. The proverbial brickwall has prevented many a genealogist from moving forward with his or her family history research. This meeting is a time to bring your “brick wall” problems to the meeting and discuss them with other members. A new perspective on a problem is always helpful.

Handouts from some earlier DCAGS meetings:
Tip Toe Through the Tombstones, by Ann L. Wells (5 August 2010). Handout (1 page)
Exciting New Developments at FamilySearch, by Maureen Brady (7 October 2010). Handout (15 “slides”; 5 pages) / Presentation (72 “slides”; 36 pages).
Have you tried…? , by James L. Hansen, F.A.S.G (4 November 2010). Handout (1 page).
Finding Those Who Served: Genealogy Resources at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, by Russell Horton (2 December 2010). Handout (1 pages).
Ways to Display Your Family Trees, by Pat Skubis (6 January 2011). Handout (1 page) / Presentation (55 pages).
Genealogical Organization: From Papers to Research, by Ann L. Wells (3 March 2011). Handout (1 page).
Lineage Societies, by Bob Stone and Ruth Simpson (7 April 2011). Daughters of the American Revolution handout (4 pages) Sons of the American Revolution handout (4 pages)
The Power of Yes: A Case Study of Norwegian Immigration to Minnesota, by Joyce I. Nigbor (2 June 2011). Handout (1 page)
Reading Genealogy Books on the Web, by Rollie Littlewood (7 July 2011). Handout (4 pages)
Branches and Leaves Filled in at Last, by Patricia Skubis (4 August 2011). Handout (1 page)
The Flavor of Wisconsin: History and Culture through Recipes, by Terese Allen (1 September 2011). Handout (3 page quiz)
The 1940 Census, by Pat Skubis (2 February 2012). Presentation as PDF file or as PowerPoint file
Getting the Most Out of an Obituary, by George L. Findlen, CGSM (5 April 2012). Handout (2 pages)
The World of Genealogy Webinars, by Rollie Littlewood (3 May 2012). Handout (2 pages)
Revolutionary War & the War of 1812, by Pam Anderson (6 September 2012). Handout (2 pages)
Introduction to DCAGS’ New Online Membership Features, by Walker Crawford (4 October 2012). Handout (1 page)
Using WorldCat for Genealogy, by Rollie Littlewood (4 October 2012). Handout (4 pages) / Screen Shots displayed during talk (18 “slides”)
Family History Projects, by Lori Bessler (3 January 2013). Handout (3 pages)
Newspaper Nuggets: Going Beyond the Obituary Notice, by Kathy Sparks (2 May 2013). Handout (3 pages)
Dane County Historical Society … Who Knew?, by Mary Clark (7 November 2013). PowerPoint presentation (43 panels; 8 pages)
What is Genealogy, Anyway?, by George L. Findlen (2 January 2014). Handout (3 pages)
Culture, Heritage and Swiss Roots, by Beth Zurbuchen (6 February 2014) – Two handouts: Swiss Society of Genealogical Studies (2 pages) and Switzerland and Genealogy (3 pages)
Genealogy Research and Cartographic Resources, by Jaime Stoltenberg (6 March 2014). Handout (1 page) / Presentation as PDF file or as PowerPoint file
Free Online Resources That You Can Access from Home or at Your Library, by Pat Skubis (5 June 2014). Presentation as PDF file or as PowerPoint file
Church and Religious Records - More Than Hatchings, Matchings & Dispatchings, by David McDonald, CGSM (6 November 2014). Handout (4 pages)

We’re proud to be an affiliate of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society
DCAGS is a proud member of the Federation of Genealogical Societies

Announcements of special interest to society members: 
Citing staffing issues, the Wisconsin State Vital Records Office announced in the fall of 2010 that they were suspending all search appointment opportunies from 1 October 2010 until at least 28 February 2011. This office did open again for onsite searches in March, but with a much tighter restriction than before on the frequency of search appointments. Each researcher is now restricted to four hours of on-site searching in a three-month period. Afternoon appointments are no longer available.

There will be tours of Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison given on 11 October 2015, sponsored by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. .

The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society (WSGS) is sponsoring its 2016 Gene-A-Rama conference on 8-9 April 2016 at the Plaza Hotel and Suites, 201 N. 17th Ave., Wausau, Wisconsin. Visit the WSGS website for further information.

Sally Jacobs, a local archivist who operates Jacobs Archival Services in Madison, has informed us that she has started a blog called “The Practical Archivist.” She describes it as “chock full of archiving tips and geeky tidbits for genealogists and keepers of the family photo album – giving away some of my best photo archiving tips at no charge.”

Each spring and fall the Division of Library-Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society sponsors a series of genealogy classes; these usually meet on Saturday mornings in either the WHS Library in Madison or in the nearby Memorial Library. See Library-Archives Classes and Workshops for more detailed information. The six classes being offered in the fall of 2011 are “Genealogy is For Everyone” (17 September, Lori Bessler), “” (22 October, Lori Bessler) [repeated 29 October], “Using Archival Collections” (12 November, Rick Pifer), “” (3 December, Lori Bessler), and “Online Genealogy” (10 December, Lori Bessler). Click on the title of any class for further details (time, fees, location, class coverage) about that class. Each class has separate registration, some may have limited enrollment. To register, download, print, fill-in, and mail the required registration form. Registration began 15 August 2011. A discount on the registration fee is offered to those who are members of either the Wisconsin Historical Society or the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society.

Are you a beginner at genealogy? Would you like to explore some (free) online guides to getting started in genealogy? Here’s one to try: Indexes to the RootsWeb Guides to Tracing Family Trees

Genealogy classes offered in the Dane County Area
Wisconsin Union Mini-courses
  Dates for next set of classes: three Tuesday evenings, (not given in fall 2013)
  Location: UW-Madison campus (specific location TBD)
  Instructor: Sherry Lloyd

Oregon Senior Center Genealogy - Family History Courses
  Dates for next set of classes: four Wendesday evenings, 30 October - 20 November
  Location: Oregon Senior Center, 219 Park St., Oregon
  Instructor: Pat Skubis
  For more information view Fall 2013 Oregon School District Program Guide, especially pages 4 and 28.

Some other genealogical links of special interest:

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This page was last modified on 29 April 2016

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